Entertainment » Theatre

Victor/Victoria

by Will Demers
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday May 1, 2017
Victor/Victoria

Unemployed and broke, what's an English girl to do when she's stuck living in Paris? Meeting a flamboyant man about town, they concoct a plan. She'll be a drag queen! But wait? She's a woman! Victoria Grant will pretend to be a man, then dress as a woman. Toddy assures her this will work. And it does work splendidly. Until King Marchan enters the picture.

"Victor/Victoria" takes the 1982 Blake Edwards classic film, already ripe for the stage, and gives it a bit of a makeover, much like Victoria herself. Premiering here in Rhode Island at Ocean State Theatre, it's a funny show, working well when the classic comedic Edwards bits are employed, like a very funny scene in a hotel. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand, if not, it will be a surprise. But the slapstick is part of the charm of the show, and when it works, it really shines in this production.

Artistic director Amiee Turner takes the directorial reins once again, and this show is a fun choice to end their season. The cast is solid: OSTC favorite Christopher Swan returns as King Marchan, he gives the role some gravitas. Also returning are David Groccia and Brad Kirton, both alumni of this particular stage. Groccia is funny in his role as Labisse, who suspects Victoria isn't what she appears at all. Kirton solidly portrays the nightclub mogul Andre Cassell in a fun role. The ensemble has some great moments here playing a number of different roles, there's much to see.

The musical numbers that were memorable in the movie make a splash here: "Le Jazz Hot," and "Crazy World," but it's the "Chicago, Illinois" number that stood out for this reviewer, as well as a great King Marchan solo "King's Dilemma." The choreography by Sebastian Goldberg is grand, utilizing his talented dancers to good measure.

As for the rest of the cast, Ben Salus' Squash Bernstein is absolutely delightful as the bodyguard. Bill Whitehead Jr. as Toddy could have been more flamboyant, but it's tough to fill the shoes of someone like Robert Preston, who so memorably portrayed him in the film. But Eden Casteel's Victoria is fabulous, waltzing through her musical numbers and trying to keep her identity a secret. Kristin Wetherington also gives a very funny turn as Norma, King's overly loud girlfriend. Great fun.

"Victor/Victoria" runs through May 21 at Ocean State Theatre Company, 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI 02886. For information or tickets, call 401-921-1777 or visit www.oceanstatetheatre.org

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